About ToxicTrailers.com

ToxicTrailers.com was launched after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when the government spent more than $2 billion on FEMA trailers with high levels of formaldehyde that sickened thousands of people. The FEMA trailer tragedy exposed what is a widespread problem in RVs, mobile homes, modular buildings and even conventional buildings that use pressed wood products. Unfortunately, as we approach the tenth anniversary of Katrina, formaldehyde regulations are not being enforced in the U.S., and people's health is at risk. If you are having burning eyes, congestion, sore throat, coughing, breathing difficulties, frequent sinus infections or rashes, and difficulties concentrating, you may have a formaldehyde problem. For questions or to share your story, write 4becky@cox.net.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Second round of FEMA trailer lawsuits

Marilyn Odendahl with the Elkhart Truth broke the story today of a second round of lawsuits over formaldehyde in FEMA trailers. Some excerpts below:


Just as the recreational vehicle industry appears to be nearing a resolution to formaldehyde lawsuits, another round of litigation may be brewing.

Ridgeland, Miss., attorney Tyler Kent confirmed he and other Gulf Coast lawyers are preparing a civil suit regarding FEMA trailers sold at auction by the U.S. General Services Administration. The plaintiffs are individuals who purchased the units second-hand but were not told the products were from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and are now suffering from a variety of medical ailments.

...He described the pending case as a significant lawsuit for the RV and manufactured housing industries.

...During the early stages of the first formaldehyde lawsuits originating from the Gulf, the court found FEMA not liable and removed the agency from the litigation. Kent declined to specify who would be named as defendants in this second round of legal action but he hinted the federal government could be included.

He explained FEMA had immunity in the initial formaldehyde case because it was acting in an emergency. But, that immunity does not apply to this case because there was no ongoing crisis when the units were auctioned.

Jerome Loftus, former general counsel for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, compared holding the government accountable to chasing a rabbit but he noted in this case, the argument does have some merit.

“I know the government certainly bares a big responsibility that they didn’t take any steps to prevent it from happening,” Loftus said of the formaldehyde contamination. “Then they didn’t take any steps to prevent the proliferation of (the RVs).”